Grand Forks’ celebrity DJ and vocalist Jayda Guy capped a bizarre, COVID-twisted year with a Grammy nomination for her hit dance track, “Both of Us.”
Guy, who performs as Jayda G, had been launched to fame within electronic dance circles following her live-streamed performance at Amsterdam’s Dekmantle festival in 2017.
It was a pivotal moment in her music career. But Guy said she was so nervous about the nasty reception handed to so many young DJs who play Dekmantle’s “Boiler Room” stage that she almost balked at the opportunity.
“Especially as a woman, you take so much [abuse],” she explained.
Ignoring the haters, Guy said she rose to the challenge, crushing her set.
“Everything changed after that,” she recalled. Fast-forward to 2019 and Guy had realized two further milestones, including and especially her debut album, aptly dubbed “Significant Changes.”
The title is a research jargon — one that peppered the master’s thesis on the effects of pollutants on West Coast killer whales she’d published the year before. “There’s not a lot of music producers with a background in environmental toxicology,” she laughed, crediting the teachers at Grand Forks Secondary School who’d encouraged her to pursue her love of science.
The electronic dance scene has been on hiatus since COVID-19 reached pandemic status last March. Once a regular on the Euro and British club scenes, Guy said she went from performing roughly twice a week to nursing a case of COVID in her London flat.
Her adopted city was a scary, depressing place by the time she recovered, so she decided to come home. She’s laid low for the past three months, drawing inspiration for her new vocal tracks, she said.
She certainly wasn’t expecting to be put up for a Grammy in 2021. “I feel really honoured that they recognized me,” she said. “It was always a goal of mine — one of those things you wish for but don’t allow yourself to believe is realistic.”
She was happy on Sunday, March 14, when the award for best dance recording went to Montreal producer, Kaytranada. “He deserved it,” she said.
Guy left her mother’s home in Grand Forks on Monday, March 22, bound for some long-awaited studio work in Toronto.